Published 31 May 2020 by Dr Iqbal Survé

As we take the next steps on this journey into the future together, it might be helpful to look back at where we have come from and what it is we in South Africa hoped to achieve, says Dr Iqbal Survé. Picture: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town – As we move back into the mainstream again with the further easing of our living and working restrictions, it would be easy just to forget the past two months or so and move on. Please don’t.

It will be tempting to get back on the saddle and ride along just as you did before and as the weeks tick by and you get used to your freedom again. Please don’t.

Please do … continue to reach out a helping hand to those in need – there will be more than ever before.

Please do take the hand offered to you, pride is humble pie in the face of starvation.

Please do…remember the feelings (good and bad) that you have experienced over this time, and please do consider others’ emotions as we enter the next phase of our Covid-19-dictated lives.

Please read the full article here.

Published 23 May 2020 by Dr Iqbal Survé

The euphoria and optimism for a bright new future for South Africa were enshrined in its first democratically elected president, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, says the writer. File picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency Archvies

If we increase our spending of our emotional desire for balance, can we proportionately increase our income of peace and equality to form a more just society post-Covid-19?

In 1994, South Africa stepped out of the darkness of segregation and suppression and into an age of light, hope and potential. The euphoria and optimism for a bright new future was enshrined in the nation’s new leader, one Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, who became the country’s first democratically elected president.

This was the identity we created together as a nation and one we presented to the world. On the face of it, as a people, we had overcome our darkest past to unite and move forward to a place where we were all, equal regardless of race, colour or gender. South Africa was globally acknowledged as a leader of human rights, as a progressive society and even as setting a course for the rest of the world to follow, along a path of optimism where anything could be accomplished.

We also began forging a new pan-African identity – with Africans working together for the benefit of Africa and Africans. Such promise.

Please read the full article here.

Published 19 May 2020 by Adri Senekal de Wet

Magda Wierzycka stunned the asset management community by applying one of the most underhand of marketing tricks in the book: Spin and Smear. Photo: David Ritchie African News Agency (ANA)

CAPE TOWN – I first became aware of the existence of Magda Wierzycka when her company, Sygnia, listed on the JSE late in 2015. With the financial markets in dire straits and commodities at an all-time low in early 2016, the Sygnia share price at variance to what was happening on the market seemed otherworldly and something to laud.  Although experiencing a small dip, it went on a run to reach R22 in April 2016. The market was suitably impressed and amazed.

As a result of this excellent performance, we became acutely aware of the woman at the helm of this organisation, Magda Wierzycka, a beacon of light in an otherwise, grey world. Not only did her stellar results grab our attention, her articles for the Daily Maverick were also great reading – mostly at that time, attacking the Zuma regime and drawing parallels with her experience in Poland. She is an excellent writer and, I will openly admit, I eagerly read all of her articles.

Then Magda stunned the asset management community by applying one of the most underhand of marketing tricks in the book: Spin and Smear. Stain the reputation of your opponents to portray yourself as the knight in shining armour and create a positive brand for your product. Emotionally exploit the public and use your media exposure to shape a particular narrative for your own gain. Being a hitherto pillar of moral standing, it becomes relatively easy to sway opinion and cast shadows.  No proof is needed as someone of stature could hardly be dishonest, could they?

Please read the full article here.

Published 17 May 2020 by  Dr Iqbal Survé

Future business success will not only depend on a business’s ability to re-engineer itself during the coornavirus pandemic but also on how it has treated its staff and its customers during this period, writes Dr Iqbal Survé.

The Covid-19 pandemic has revealed many aspects about who we are as humans, the state of our economies and the reliance we have on the ability of those who control our purse strings – literally placing our lives in their hands.

On the one hand, the challenges faced by lockdowns, social-distancing, restricted business and the ever present spectre of the unseen disease, have banded people together in solidarity. It has shown how when the chips are down, and our human existence is threatened, that we can dig deep, find empathy for one another and rekindle what has been sorely lacking in the relentless march of materialism and ego, that we can indeed be kind.

On the other hand, it has also glaringly highlighted the fragility of global supply chains and our inter-dependency on them and each other. It has also exposed the underbelly of the cut-throat business of getting ahead of the competition and staying there, along with opportunistic politicking.

No one can really predict what is going to happen post-Covid-19. However, there is a reasonable assumption that there will be several business sectors that will need to experience wholesale change, while some will cease to exist, and others will thrive.

Please read the full article here.

Published 13 May 2020 by Edward West

Chief executive Rushaan Isaacs.

CAPE TOWN – Premier Fishing and Brands, one of the largest black-owned and managed fishing companies, said yesterday that taxed profit fell 63.6 percent to R20 million in the six months to February 29, mainly due to factors outside its control, such as the impact of Covid-19 on export markets and lower total allowable catches.

Chief executive Rushaan Isaacs said Premier had faced big challenges over the period, but “our results are satisfactory and better than expected, given that we are still facing these challenges”.

No interim dividend was declared due to the uncertain environment.

Premier is a vertically integrated fishing company specialising in the harvesting, processing, marketing and sales and distribution of marine products.

It owns and manages factories, an abalone farm, facilities and fishing vessels, and prides itself on being one of the most transformed in the fishing industry in terms of management and employees.

Please read the full article here.

Published 09 May 2020 by Dr Iqbal Survé

Level 4 lockdown arrived on May 1 and while greeted with much jubilation, also sadly demonstrated just how much homo sapiens residing in South Africa have not changed at their core, says Dr Iqbal Survé. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

I have felt somewhat jaded this past week. Not because of the lockdown and the battle businesses are dealing with at present – those are just givens.

Actually, in all my interactions with my colleagues in the business world, I have found new heroes and heroines who have risen to the challenge of digging deep, innovating under pressure and generally speaking, demonstrating great leadership even while facing their own personal concerns and worries about what the future holds for them and their families.

Level 4 lockdown arrived on May 1 and while greeted with much jubilation, also sadly demonstrated just how much homo sapiens residing in South Africa have not changed at their core.

I am referring here to the thousands of people who selfishly threw caution to the wind, and thronged the roads, parks and public spaces across the land. Images show countless numbers ignoring the regulations for masks or social distancing, thus recklessly endangering those around them.

Please read the full article here.

Published 07 May 2020 by Adri Senekal de Wet

Executive Editor of Business Report.

CAPE TOWN – That the media landscape has changed over the past few years is one thing. The change we have seen in the past few weeks is another, entirely.

Change in this aeons-old industry started with the introduction of digital platforms and social media, then a steady decline in advertising revenue, circulation, along with a slew of new digital-first publications.

Venerable publishing groups and titles across the country have announced some form of aggravated difficulty in running their businesses over this time.

Last week, Associated Media Publishing (AMP), one of South Africa’s most well-known independent media houses, announced that the company will be closing up shop, permanently. AMP chief executive Julia Raphaely shared the news that the company, which was launched 38 years ago, would cease trading and publishing its magazines, including Cosmopolitan, House & Leisure and Women on Wheels, from May 1.

Joining their ranks this week, it is the turn of Caxton and CTP Publishers & Printers, who on Tuesday said it had decided, in principle, to close its magazine division.

Please read the full article here.

Published 05 May 2020 by Sizwe Dlamini

JSE-listed Premier Fishing has donated at least 200 food parcels to its seasonal workers, to help the workers and their families get through the tough Covid-19 period. Photo: Supplied/Premier Fishing

CAPE TOWN – JSE-listed Premier Fishing has donated at least 200 food parcels to its seasonal workers, to help them and their families get through the tough Covid-19 period.

The fishing company, which operates in fishing communities such as Saldanha, St Francis Bay, Gansbaai, Hout Bay and Cape Town, said the workers were those who had been unable to work as a result of the rapid spread of the coronavirus.

The country’s fishing industry received an exemption from the lockdown after being designated it as being vital to the domestic food industry the National Coronavirus Command Council.

Environment, Forestry, and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy said the council exempted the fisheries sector, as well as the harbour, fishing vessels, shipping and docking services from the lockdown conditions.

Please read the full article here.

Published 01 May 2020 by Dr Iqbal Survé

A worker passes through a sanitising booth at the entrance of a metal welding factory. The unusual circumstances we find ourselves in have already brought about a level of transformation hitherto unprecedented, but we are not done yet. Picture: Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters

Cape Town – May 1, International Workers Day, a day that in 2020 will be remembered worldwide for the millions not working, as much as for the recognition and celebration of essential workers performing in the face of Covid-19, and the shift in how we will work going forward.

The arrival of Covid-19 and the subsequent quarantining of productivity has been categorsed as a Black Swan event – highly unpredictable, and accompanied (according to Investopedia) by high levels of insistence that the signs were obvious (in hindsight of course). The point being that while some may have predicted its arrival, no-one actually prepared for it, not even “future-proofed” businesses, because how does one secure a business from a future no-one in actuality, saw coming?